We sat down with several infectious disease experts to learn more about their research and asked them to share what they’re taking home from ID Week 2018. Here's what they said:
Michael Ison, MD, MS: The thing that has excited me the most, I am a transplant infectious disease doctor at heart. And so, a lot of the transplant infectious disease work that has been presented at the meeting really has been amazing. The number of attendees coming to the transplant infectious disease sessions has been gigantic.
Basically, I just came from a session on cases of transplant ID and the room was so full they had an overflow room that was also overflowing with people. And so, clearly, it’s an area of interest. In the one session yesterday, it was also interesting that the majority of the people that were there were not dedicated transplant infectious disease physicians, but people who probably see it in their general practice on the side.
And I think probably the biggest takeaway that I’ve learned from this entire meeting is that we’re getting away with shorter and shorter courses of antibiotics, which makes it better for patients to tolerate, and less risk of resistance emergence in those individuals.
Julie Ann Justo, PharmD, MS, BCPS-AQ ID: In terms of ID Week, the things that I’ve been most excited to hear about are the new antimicrobials that are coming out. I did go to the antibiotic pipeline talk and I was tweeting about it and I was looking at some of these drugs and already thinking, ‘Where can I use them? Which patients would benefit most from there? How would I ensure optimal use of these new agents as they come out?’ That’s going to be a lot of education for different providers.
I’m really glad to see that there’s this renewed interest in antimicrobial drug development and discovery and I want to continue to encourage folks to bring those drugs to market. And then, hopefully, we clinicians can partner with them to help ensure that we are stewarding use of those appropriately because they really are a public trust.
Melvin Weinstein, MD: I love going to the challenging case symposia. The transplant ID sessions I think have been terrific. And I have been doing this for 40 years, maybe a little longer, and I always go home charged up after coming to these meetings; they’re always fun, always exciting. And so, I’m still having a good time.
Sarah Kemble, MD: There have been other sessions on Candida auris; I’m actually seeing a number of them on the agenda for this conference. Certainly, there’s a lot of interesting data coming out of New York State about Candida auris epidemiology, some of the resistance issues they’ve seen, and about treating Candida auris.
Emily Ricotta, PhD, ScM:ID Week is such a great conference; I think there’s so much going on and so much to see and so many experts. There’s a lot of antimicrobial stewardship, which is great to see. We have a lot of presentations here from our group on antimicrobial resistance; a lot of the antifungal work has been interesting. Michail Lionakis, MD, ScD, just gave a great talk on small molecules and how that can predispose individuals to Candida infections, which is really groundbreaking and really interesting. It’s great to see all of this research.
Keith W. Hamilton, MD: My biggest takeaway is that the future is bright for infectious diseases. I do a lot through education, through the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), so meeting the future ID physicians and researchers have been promising, and all of the new technology for diagnostics and therapeutics I think is very encouraging. And that goes for the entire field of infectious diseases—not just antibiotic stewardship—and so, I’m always very encouraged and inspired when I leave these meetings.
Rachel S. Britt, PharmD: Honestly, I would say my biggest takeaway isn’t any specific piece of information that I’ve learned in particular, but really, it’s just how dynamic the field of ID is and what an exciting area of developing research and medical progress it is and I’m very excited to be a part of it as a trainee starting my new career. I’m very excited to see what comes forward in the coming years.
Sharon Tsay, MD: The thing that I wanted to highlight is that this week is Fungal Disease Awareness Week at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and so, we’re really encouraging everyone to ‘think fungus’ and there have been a lot of great fungal sessions at ID Week already—some that we’ve been involved in—that are really highlighting some emerging pathogens, like Candida auris, and some of the other work that’s out there. And so, I’m really excited to work with my colleagues from all over the country to encourage people to ‘think fungus.’
Mitsuri Toda, PhD: I’ve been chatting with so many people from around the world who have never heard about this topic and they were really intrigued and I’m really excited to share my findings, and it has been really wonderful to talk to ID doctors, clinicians, transplant doctors, and epidemiologists from everywhere to brainstorm about this issue and whether they’re seeing it in their centers and things like that. And so, that has been really exciting.
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